“Peaches” by Kathleen Rice Adams

“Peaches” by Kathleen Rice Adams is a short historical romance centered around the Christmas holiday. Ruth Avery and her boys have taken over the school house that neighbors Whit McCandless's ranch. Whit has no time for the holiday festivities or anything social because a ranch won't run itself. He has little patience for Ruth, and in his opinion, she'll never be able to mind a bunch of the town children when she can't keep track of her own. Whit's aunts are meddlesome but mean well. They work to throw Whit and Ruth together in hopes to ignite a spark. Ruth's first impression of Whit is callous and harsh, but his actions betray his demeanor. She wasn't looking for romance, but there may be holiday magic in the works.

Kathleen Rice Adams is fast becoming a new favorite author for me. She succeeded in entertaining with her touching story about Whit and Ruth in “Peaches.” I found depth in this short story that didn't seem possible to achieve in so few pages. Ruth and Whit were well developed, and the minor characters were filled in enough to make the whole town believable. Whit came off one way, but as the story unfolded, I learned his secret reasons for his intolerance to peaches, and with ease, the author made me want to comfort him. Ms. Adams turned Whit inside out, had him do things outside his grumpy nature, revealing his true heart, and made me see him in a whole new light. I rooted for him to find peace, and to do something about his feelings for Ruth. The attraction between Whit and Ruth was bold, I was aware of it, and still it sizzled in the background until suddenly, there it was - front and center. I loved the story and the way it came to life. I highly recommend “Peaches.”